Ferrari Logo, Origins of the Legendary Emblem

The most remarkable cars on the road or track bear the name, Ferrari. And every one of those remarkable cars bears a prancing horse on a yellow shield with bands of red and green, the colors of the Italian flag, across the top. The Ferrari logo is as unmistakable as the cars are remarkable.

Company founder and race car icon, Enzo Ferrari, adopted the prancing horse logo when founding a company called Scuderia Ferrari. The year was 1929. The letters “S” and “F” stand for the original company name and remain on the emblem today.

WWI was over, and for more than a decade, folks could get on with their personal passions. For Enzo Ferrari, that passion was racing. He used the logo as racing team manager for Alfa Romeo in the 1930s and emblazoned the emblem on track-ready street cars produced in his company, Ferrari S.p.A., in 1947.

What is now the recognizable Ferrari logo originated on airplanes. The prancing horse on a yellow shield was painted on planes of a wartime Italian flying squadron. Flying ace and squadron member, Francesco Baracca, had watched Ferrari race and admired his remarkable cars. Baracca was killed in the war, but his mother insisted that Enzo Ferrari emblazon his automobiles with her son’s squadron mascot, the prancing horse on a yellow shield. Ferraris carry honor to the little known flying ace, Baracca, to this day.

As if you couldn’t tell a Ferrari by looking, the prancing horse identifies a Ferrari as standard on the front hood and trunk of the car. For those avoiding any identity crisis, the logo on the unmistakable yellow shield is available for $1,300 for a pair when ordered extra for the two front fenders. By the time you finish paying for the car beneath the bumpers, you might as well announce your investment with official Ferrari logos on them. Better yet, think of the logos as badges of honor, remembering the flying servicemen of war.

Aftermarket Ferrari logos made of carbon fiber and colored in unofficial black on white are available as well. The Ferrari factory trims current production cars with carbon fiber, having created a craze for the high tech material at prohibitive cost for one of the most common elements on earth. But the aftermarket carbon-fiber logos aren’t made by Ferrari, thus indicating an identifiable brand but not a branded Ferrari product. This is equivalent to sewing WalMart labels onto your couture clothes. It horrifies the purists.

I am going to procure a few official branded Ferrari logos and affix them to my car. When questioned, I will announce that my other car is a Ferrari, but I haven’t saved up enough to get it just yet. That, or I am honoring airmen who gave their lives for my freedom. Both would be true.

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